they came home with me, 2013
Well, here's the buy to end all buys for the year.
A bit of context - I’ve always loved the look of the Louis Vuitton SC duffle, but a few whirls with it in the shop made me realise it isn’t quite right for me – the shoulder straps are too short and none of the sizes offered are quite it. To say nothing of the price.
Then the Saint Laurent duffle came out, and I don’t care that it’s derivative in design (a charge that has been levelled at just about all the bags Hedi Slimane has designed for the house so far). I liked it. It clicked with me.
I was lost the moment I picked it up. It was lovely to the touch, inside and out (all leather). Well-placed pockets. The right weight and size (this is the Duffle 6) for my lifestyle. I’ll skip the lengthy justification process and simply say that I bought it.
And it's working really well. I can tote it to work with a packed lunch inside on weekdays, and for lazy coffees and a browse at the bookstore on weekends. I like the rough look of the suede and the colour is just dark enough for me to not worry about stains and dirt. And it's a pleasure to touch, always.
I love an item so much more when it's something I use all the time. And I think that's the upside of the shopping I did this year - I bought more things and and spent more money, but I've been getting a lot of use out of them, especially the ones that replaced things that had broken down. It's true, what people say - Buy what you'll wear on a Tuesday afternoon, not a Saturday night.
So, the rundown, for 2013:
Red cotton jeans from M&S
Camel leather lace-ups from Dieppa Restrepo
Glasses from Tom Ford
Navy and off-white gingham cotton short-sleeved blouse from Muji
Grey chambray cap-sleeve dress from A.P.C.
Chambray boyfriend shorts from Esprit
Palm leaf hat from Crazy Crow Trading Post
Navy linen cropped trousers from J Crew
Navy linen short-sleeved dress from Muji
Oatmeal linen knit pullover from Muji
Navy cotton skirt from J Crew
Seafoam "Goddess" bikini from Seafolly
Burgundy leather purse from Steven Alan
White leather lace-ups from Dieppa Restrepo
Grey jersey dress with chambray collar from COS
Camel nubuck ankle boots with low heel from A.P.C.
Grey suede and leather duffle bag from Saint Laurent
I am especially pleased with the shoes I bought this year - for one, I bought all of them with substantial discounts (50% and up). I had to throw away 4 pairs of shoes this year because 3 of them had holes that couldn't be patched and one of them was so worn and stretched that they fell off my feet when I walked. To find three good replacements in one year is sheer good luck.
The darned J Crew trousers are reminder that buying trousers online is risky. The A.P.C. and Muji dresses and the J Crew skirt are concessions to the fact that there ARE days when it's too, too hot for jeans and trousers. The COS and the M&S jeans are proof that I am vulnerable to stress-shopping.
I feel lucky as always, to have these choices, the ability to buy more than I need, and indulge in the pleasure of owning and using beautiful things. I've also felt very fortunate to been able to take time to travel, learn new things, spend time with my love ones, and eat well. To say nothing of being about to indulge in the joys of modern culture (film, TV, music, books).
This year, I've had people very closely to me fall very sick, and several other instances reminded me of not just mortality, but the inevitable degeneration of our health as we age. That has made reminded that aside from living responsibly, I need to (cliché alert!) live for today too. Yes, book that trip to the Maldives, because some day my joints will be too creaky to heave those scuba tanks around. Yes, buy that Saint Laurent bag, because saving ALL the money I make is no fun. Yes, take my best friends out for a meal just because. Yes, do a good deed today, because too often I am self-centred and forget. Yes, agree to do that thing scares you a little bit because who want to be comfortable all the time? Let go and do what the heart wants, every now and then.
Getting that balance between discipline and enjoying the ephemeral pleasures of life? That's one sweet spot I'd like to hit some day. In the meantime, I'll be trying.
Anyways. Thanks for reading (still). Happy ,and see you all here in 2014! In the meantime, I'm not completely offline, I'll still be Instagramming.